A CONFIDENT Eastern Cape Health MEC Sicelo Gqobana eased the concerns of hundreds of health workers in Nelson Mandela Bay following the takeover of the Bay’s clinics by the provincial Health Department.
A meeting held at the Gelvandale Community Centre on Friday was the second in two weeks.
At the previous meeting, Gqobana warned heads would roll if people in his department were found to be incompetent.
He told nurses he would raise their concerns with his colleagues and return with concrete and favourable answers.
"At the last meeting, you raised various issues. After that we went back to the Labour Relations Act to make sure we comply with everything regarding the takeover.
"As I stand here today, I can confidently say that after the takeover nobody was materially disadvantaged,” Gqobana said.
The nurses’ main concerns were their salaries. They wanted to know whether they would still receive their pension fund, medical aid, housing allowance, long service payment and scarce skills allowance.
During an earlier meeting, health workers told the MEC all of their benefits did not reflect on their new salary slips and they feared they might not receive them under the provincialisation.
Eastern Cape Health director- general Dr Siva Pillay urged workers to check the amounts of their total package. He explained that their new packages included their basic salary and other benefits.
"Let’s say your salary at the municipality was R50 and it came out to R100 including all your allowances. Now you have come to the department and we did not give you certain allowances, but your salary is R102. You cannot now say you want that salary plus the allowances because it is all included in the overall package.
"Not only did some of the salaries go up, but some people moved up a notch. Now which one is better?,” Pillay asked.
He said he hoped the confusion and misinformation had now been cleared up.